The clinical and cost effectiveness of internet-delivered self-help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for family carers of people with dementia (iACT4CARERS): A randomised controlled trial with ethnically diverse family carers.
The iACT4CARERS project aims to find out: 1) if internet-delivered self-help Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (iACT4CARERS) for family carers of people with dementia is helpful in reducing anxiety and affordable; 2) how online ACT can be successfully delivered to diverse carer populations and in different healthcare settings.
Family carers are at higher risk of anxiety and depression. Offering treatments online improves availability for people who have mobility problems, live remotely or cannot leave home. This makes it more accessible to everyone and easier to provide, so could be rolled out nationally, reducing inequalities in access to care.
We conducted a first study to explore if we could deliver Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for family carers of people with dementia (iACT4CARERS) online within GPs and NHS mental health services, and family carer views of it (acceptability). This was successful and more than 100 potential participants were referred to the study in just six months. Thirty-three eligible participants received iACT4CARERS, more than originally planned. We now need a larger trial involving enough carers to establish whether iACT4CARERS can reduce carer anxiety and is affordable and whether it should be widely rolled out in the NHS.
Key Research Question
What is the clinical and cost effectiveness of iACT4CARERS plus treatment-as-usual (TAU) in comparison to TAU alone for reducing anxiety in family carers of people with dementia?
Research Design and Outputs
This project received £1.2 million funding from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme (NIHR150071) and is expected to end in May 2026.
We will recruit 496 family carers with anxiety, as that is the number we need to be sure that iACT4CARERS is adequately tested. Recruitment will target community groups, GPs and NHS mental health services with a specific focus on underrepresented people from ethnic minority groups. This is a randomised trial, where a computer allocates half the people to intervention and half to control group (standard care). Participants in both groups will be asked to complete questionnaires assessing anxiety and other outcomes before and after the intervention and three months after that. We will also interview participants, therapists and clinicians involved in recruitment to gain in-depth insights into their views on the intervention and its implementation.
If you have any questions or require any further information about the study, then please contact the Chief Investigator Dr Naoko Kishita, Lecturer in Dementia and Complexity in Later Life at UEA.
Please also visit our project website.